22 Oct It’s All Downhill From Here!
I’ve finally celebrated my 60th birthday. Well, two days ago. And it’s taken me that time to come to terms with the fact that I’ve crossed the precipice and there’s no where to go … except down. I’m in my autumnal years. I’m what lots of people, generally those younger than forty, consider ‘OLD’. I’m in the slide down to retirement; if the last few federal governments hadn’t squandered the taxes I’ve paid over the last forty-plus years, the old-aged pension would be my right at this moment in time and I could retire, rather than it be considered necessary if my superannuation wasn’t enough to keep me in my dotage! Therefore I’m still working, albeit part-time.
I don’t feel sixty, not that I really know what one is supposed to feel at that age! Apparently, I don’t look sixty either, as said to me by some very kind people (who I now consider my very best friends, even if I don’t know their names!). I think it’s just lucky genetics, though I find I’m using more and more products for ‘the older skin’; with rejuvenating properties, the names of which I can’t either remember or pronounce. Suffice to say, they’re expensive and I’ve been conned into buying them to keep the ravages of age at bay.
What I really want to know is why, suddenly, in the last twelve months have I started to feel aches and pains in most of the major joints in my body. Do they hold a conference and write up a plan as to which one will start to ache, and when? One day I’m walking along spritely and the next, wham, I’ve developed a limp. First one knee starts to let me know it’s feeling its age, and that the years of playing sport has finally worn the soft tissue betweeen the bones down to nothing. Then the other one goes out in sympathy! Followed swiftly by both hips. Bursitis, says the doctor. Easily fixed; we’ll just jab in a needle (the size of a darning needle it seems), drain out the excess fluid, and replace it with cortisone. I’ve now learned that this procedure needs to be repeated about every six months, until a replacement is the only option! AND, not to be outdone, the wrist and shoulders are starting to sing a mournful tune as well: (to the tune of “We are Sailing” by Rod Stewart) ‘We are aching, we are aching, all the time, in every joint.’
And we won’t even mention the bladder! Actually we will! I don’t care how many pelvic floor exercises a woman does a day, it doesn’t stop the inevitable. Especially after three, near 10lb babies used it as soccer practice. Panty liners will only work for so many years. And they’re certainly no good if you go to the gym for a strenuous workout (not that I can corroborate that as I try, whenever possible, not to enter those types of places), if you cough or sneeze, without crossing your legs tightly, or if you have a good belly laugh. The women in the Tena Panty ads are starting to look younger and younger … oh, that would be my age! After the change of life I thought I’d be rid of the feeling of a thick pad lining my knickers. Not so, and no one likes to mention that, until you get to the age of when it’s starts to be necessary, and then the truth comes out!
As well as needing a bigger pill box (as explained in a previous blog), I now look forward to yearly blood tests to make sure my liver function, sugar and chloresterol levels and iron count are all within the necessary perimeters for my body to sustain me a while longer, I hope! No one tells you about all of this when you’re younger. I think the older generation want to keep it as a surprise, like some kind of secret initiation, so they can laugh AT you when you reach that magic 60! It’s a rite of passage, and you get to do it as others reach that milestone. Cold comfort, I believe!
So I’m finally here. There’s no turning back time, as Cher sang about many years ago. I can only try to holt the wear and tear of life the best I can, and live every moment as if it’s my last. That’s one of the reasons I’m floating around the Caribbean, enjoying the experience of something new. If I have to turn 60, then I’m going to do it in style!